Research has pegged Toronto’s dropout rate at 42 per cent for students of Portuguese heritage, 39 per cent for Spanish and 40 per cent for blacks, compared to an average of about 25 per cent, with those who speak Chinese as low as 12 per cent.
Not every school may have students who face McKell noted, but if a school has a particular group of students racial barriers to learning,who struggle on standardized tests, earn low grades in class or skip school more often, the report suggests those schools offer these students extra support.
Education director Chris Spence created the task force in January to tackle the uneven success rate across a board where seven in 10 students are not white.
The report hails some schools for already creating programs to help particular racial groups — music and dance clubs to bolster pride among the new waves of Roma children, an African-Canadian student leadership committee, after-school clubs for aboriginal girls.
But it warns too many schools fail to motivate minority children for whom “school does not make sense.”